For our last story counting up to 99 ideas to decorate a pink bathroom, we looked for classic kitschy wall decor to use as our design inspiration. How’s about a bathroom designed around: Miller Studios chalkware fish, mermaids, poodles and swans… Sexton black cats… Turner flamingos… Cleminson wall pockets… Turner prints… and album art. Plus, we give you five easy tips to decorate your bathroom with these kitschy collectibles. Let the fun begin!
Tips for using kitschy vintage collectibles to create a theme bathroom:
- Keep the collection small — Vintage bathrooms, especially those with wall tile that covers most of the bottom half of the room, likely don’t have tons of wall space to begin with. Keeping the collection small with space around it allows the objects to stand out and feel special without feeling cluttered. Less collection also means less cleaning and dusting in these humid, sticky spaces.
- Choose pieces that coordinate with your tile color — Try to pick pieces that have the same color as some of your bathroom wall tile — trim, wall or both. Alternately, you can choose colors that are complementary — like pink (red) and green — or analogous colors, meaning they are neighbors on the color wheel: think green, blue green, blue. Keeping the color wheel in mind will help your choices make sense with the decor.
- Pick a theme — You might love every kitschy piece of wall art from poodles to flamingos, but that doesn’t mean they all need to coexist in one small bathroom. Choosing just one theme for your space may help it feel more like an intentionally decorated space and less like a flea market.
- Choose pieces that are the right scale — You may have an amazing set of large wall plaques that coordinate well with your bathroom. But if, the only wall space to display them is only slightly larger than the plaques themselves, the room could feel claustrophobic. (The “white space” around art matters importantly, too.) The same thing is true if you have a large wall with only one or two small chalkware pieces hung on it (which could make them them look dinky… forlorn.) Hmmmm… How about, try to be like Goldilocks — and aim for the middle ground.
- Group collections in odd numbers — You’ve heard this one before, and it is true: Collections grouped in odd numbers are more visually appealing. Pam read something that explained it this way: Our brain naturally seeks to group things in pairs; if there is a “third” (e.g. wheel) (or fifth, etc.), our brain notices the oddness — and sees it as ‘interest’ as ‘dynamism.’ Aim for hanging a school of three-to-five whatnots, and it may look much more pleasing than two or four would.
Of course, now that you know our “rules,” bend them to your (he)art’s content — throw ’em right out, if ya want!
There are so many different varieties of vintage chalkware and ceramic kitschy wall decor available that everyone should be able to find a few pieces that appeal to them. To narrow down the pool for my pink bathroom mood boards, I gathered a dozen different sets that I found on Etsy — all of which would easily fit into a vintage bathroom. Note: Miller Studios is the most well-known brand — but there were others. The sellers of the vintage pretties shown above:
- Miller Studios chalkware fish and bubble from Etsy seller BroadStVintage
- White, black and mint green Miller Studios fish and seashells from Etsy seller AttysVintage
- Seahorse and starfish chalkware from Etsy seller HotTrampVintage
- Pink Miller Studios fish and bubbles from Etsy seller VidaVintage9
- Pair of midcentury chalkware fish from Etsy seller 33rdStreetRevisited
- White chalkware French poodles from Etsy seller OurLeftovers
- Blue plaster chalkware wall fish from Etsy seller UrbanAlpaca
- Chalkware poodles in pink and blue from Etsy seller CleaninHouse
- Lefton mermaid on starfish from Etsy seller MoreThanIDeserve
- Vintage Lefton mermaids from Etsy seller ColorMeNew
- Black chalkware French poodles by Etsy seller WhimsicalRevival
- Miller black white and blue swan chalkware plaques from Etsy seller HeartRetro
From that selection, I chose a few of my favorites and paired them with shower curtains, wallpaper, paint and towels to create three mood boards.
Note, these bathroom design boards all start with pink field tile from B&W… bullnose tile from B&W or a mainstream source like Daltile… and a Bahama Pink toilet from Gerber or a white Kohler Classic Wellworth toilet. For the towels, unless otherwise mentioned, I shopped the large variety of colors available at The Company Store.
Let’s go for a swim: It’s easy to add some kitsch to this pink and green vintage bathroom with some color coordinating vintage chalkware like this shells and fish set from Etsy seller AttysVintage and this pair of Vintage Lefton mermaids from Etsy seller ColorMeNew. The addition of a fun nautical print shower curtain from ModCloth plus mint green and pink towels all set against a pale mint green wall color makes this bathroom feel like an undersea adventure.
Swimming with swans: A dramatic Art Deco swan shower curtain from Cafe Press sets the stage for this swan-themed bathroom. The addition of high contrast, black oval swan chalkware plaques from Etsy seller HeartRetro repeats the theme while a coordinating light green wall color and black and blue towels finish off the look.
Pretty Parisian poodles: Take a trip to Paris without the long plane ride with this C’est Magnifique Wallpaper from Anthropology, which sets an interesting but not too overpowering backdrop to display your favorite kitschy poodles — this pair of White chalkware French poodles from Etsy seller OurLeftovers and a coordinating pink poodle plaque from Etsy seller CleaninHouse. This Paris themed shower curtain from Macys and pink and white towels top off the look.
Vintage wall plaques like Sexton cats
The cat’s meow: If you’re more of a cat person than a dog person, why not use some vintage Sexton black cat wall plaques like this set from Etsy seller Philmart to decorate your bathroom? Paired with this purrrfectly coordinating sleeping cat bath mat and a black and white cat shower curtain from Society 6 along with a pale pink wall color and black towels, this kitty cat bathroom is sure to have nine lives.
Flamingos — including Turner Flamingo mirrors
The Beatles: For this themed bathroom, I was inspired by Jill’s 1962 Beatles bathroom. Hers is grey, but why couldn’t we do the same thing with a pink and grey bathroom? All you need is
love a small collection of vintage Beatles album covers (Something New, Magical Mystery Tour, and Yesterday and Today from Etsy seller TheVinylFrontier and Revolver from Etsy seller WellPlayedVinyl) displayed in record frames — see our story 23 ways to frame your record album covers — a Beatles shower curtain, a coordinating shade of dusty blue for the wall color and some black towels.
Get creative with retro finds
Cutesy country Cleminson: Pam loves the idea of using adorable vintage Cleminson of California wall pockets or wall decor in a vintage bathroom. Here, I’ve put together three adorably illustrated Cleminson pieces — a “God Bless Our Happy Home” wall plate from Etsy seller HipKittyVintage and a set of two portraits from Etsy seller AletaFordBakerDesign. With a light beige wall color, white and blue towels and this Laurel check shower curtain from Country Curtains, this bathroom has a delightfully whimsical retro-country vibe.
Want to help us create kitschy design board ideas for a pink tile bathroom? Here’s how:
- Use the image for the pink bathroom color combo of your choice from our previous stories for your design board.
- It’s okay if your board is kinda messy: I will take what you send us and reformat it. We’ll then add the reader design boards to this story, and likely, in a big followup story.
- Find your kitschy theme decor and add it — be sure to include the hotlink info to your source material
- Find your wall treatment and add it — be sure to include the hotlink info to your source material
- Find your shower curtain and add it — be sure to include the hotlink info
- Find your bath towels and any other decor items and add them — be sure to include the hotlink info
- Give your design a title (include your own name if you like)
- Save as a PDF and email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put all info in one email.